Why should you engage with youth and how will it help your business?

If rangatahi are given the opportunity to learn about the world of work through connecting with employers and businesses, it will help them better understand what working will be like, and the kind of skills employers are looking for.

Bridging the gap

There is a gap between what rangatahi (young people) expect they will experience when they first enter the world of work, and what employers want from rangatahi. Often the gap is so wide that rangatahi are left feeling demotivated and unsupported. 

By helping to bridge this gap, schools and employers can provide opportunities for rangatahi to make more educated decisions about their future and what their careers could look like.

The changing world of young people

Transitioning from school to sustainable employment is intertwined with growing up and becoming a self-enabling adult. It’s not a straightforward journey.

There is increased complexity and pressure on the lives of young people today – this causes heightened apprehension when they approach transitioning into the world of work. (This is particularly true for at-risk and ‘disengaged young people’).

The process introduces different communication norms and media, so their efforts can be ‘lost in translation’.

Young people are not only a different generation from employers, but can also be different in culture/ethnicity, bringing increased complexity when navigating a new system.

Beliefs and ‘norms’ around work are changing, yet the support networks around them are not. Parents’ attitudes to work and education is often translated to their children. 

Young people are still developing cognitively and therefore it is inappropriate to assume they have the capacity for emotional and intellectual reasoning assumed of adults entering the workforce.

Why is it important to engage with young people?

Rangatahi and their whānau want to make educated decisions about their future. They know there is a wide range of options available – but often find it challenging to know where to start. 

If rangatahi are given the opportunity to learn about the world of work through connecting with employers and businesses, it will help them better understand what working will be like,
and the kind of skills employers are looking for.

Participation in four or more employer engagement activities while in school makes young adults five times less likely of becoming a NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Survey by the Education and Employers Taskforce and You Gov, 2011.

Engaging with young people in schools will...

benefit your business

Build a potential future talent pool base

Share insights and opportunities about your industry

Give back to the community by helping prepare young people for their working future

Personal and professional development, particularly for your younger team members, through mentoring and talking about your business

Engage with young people who
can share different perspectives and new ideas

Contribute to creating a more prepared workforce

Help to engage young people in what’s going on in their community

benefit your business

They will gain knowledge
and experience in:

Employability skills expected by employers

What work environments are actually like

The wide range of jobs available in a workplace or industry

Recruitment and interview processes

Classroom learning connected
to real world environments

Tangible career pathways
and opportunities

benefit your community

A better prepared workforce

More young people invested in what’s happening in their community

More young people engaged in education, employment or training

Builds confidence and networks across schools, community and business

Long term economic development through investment in a skilled workforce and potential increase in consumer spending

Employers as parents

Many employers will also be parents. This gives you a unique position to be able to see both perspectives, including the struggles your children face when mapping out their journey. As an engaged employer you can make a big difference in a child’s life.

Think back to your first experience with employment: how much has work changed, and who helped you to get where you are now?  It’s a job for the whole community to get our young ones work ready.

In places like Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty, leveraging connections and networks is a common way to get jobs, but it can lead to inequity and a perpetuating cycle of underemployment.

Whether you’re an administrator, an orchardist, a lawyer, a diesel mechanic, a builder, an engineer, an IT technician, or anything in between – you can help our rangatahi make important career decisions.

You don’t have to be the business owner to help rangatahi get exposure to workplaces. 

The more rangatahi are exposed to any manner of roles, the clearer their understanding of life in the workforce will be, and it may give them some direction for a potential career – one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make!

Our rangatahi are not only our children, they’re also our potential future colleagues and vital members of our community. It’s important that we do everything we can to help shape a whole new future for them – the potential of just a few hours throughout the year can make a lifetime of difference to them.

Who are we working with?

The Bay of Plenty region is home to a wide range of demographics and some not-so-unique challenges. Tauranga is one of the fastest growing cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, which is putting a huge amount of pressure on our infrastructure, workforce numbers and our housing market.

The benefit of having a growing population is that we can, and should, be utilising and developing the potential talent that we
have on our doorstep.